Girlfriends!

Pooh and piglet"I wonder what Piglet is doing," said Pooh. "I wish I were there to be doing it too."

Friendships are so important in our lives and today, 1st August, is National Girlfriends Day. All friendships are worth celebrating but those with our close female friends are very special. Girlfriends are so significant in our lives. We need them and we enjoy their company. They bring fun and laughter; they are there when we need to vent, they help to relieve stress, they listen, they boost our confidence and they offer so much support. They bring joy into our lives and love and loyalty. As I’ve grown older I’ve come to value my friendships even more than I did when I was young. My friends have supported me through illness and relationship issues, work problems and family worries. I hope I’ve done the same for them.

Girlfriends Day got me thinking about friendships in literature. Take Pride and Prejudice, for example. It’s not all about Elizabeth and Darcy. There are some other relationships that are key to the story; Lizzie’s love for her sister Jane, for example, and the support they give each other. This is fundamental to the plot because it is one of the reasons that Lizzie is so angry with Darcy. He suggests that Jane isn’t good enough for his friend Bingley. Plus there is another female friendship in the story that is very interesting – that of Lizzie with Charlotte Lucas.

Charlotte is Lizzie’s best friend and in some ways her total opposite. She is introduced as a sensible, intelligent girl but she lacks Lizzie and Charlottelooks and fortune, which in the world of the late 18th century gentry was pretty important in making a good marriage. Charlotte therefore compromises and makes the pragmatic choice to marry Mr Collins, a decision that puts a strain on her friendship with Lizzie, who considers that she is sacrificing any prospect of future happiness simply to secure her place in the world.

Through trying to understand Charlotte’s choice, Lizzie starts to see things a bit differently. This is another thing our girlfriends do for us; sometimes they give us another perspective. As a result, Lizzie and Charlotte’s friendship survives the shock of Charlotte’s marriage to the odious Mr Collins and whilst Lizzie feels a relief that she didn’t marry him herself, she realises that for Charlotte, perhaps happiness comes in a different form.

MadamThere are many other books I’ve read that depict different elements of female friendships. One of the ones that is understated but which I like very much is the friendship between the heroine Charity and her friend Louise in Mary Stewart’s Madam, Will You Talk. They are on holiday together in France when Charity falls into her “woman in jeopardy” adventure and throughout the story Louise is there is the background, a self-confessed lazy person who just wants to relax on her holiday. Instead she proves to be a steady, practical support who knows Charity well enough not only to bring her clean clothes at the end of the adventure but also to ensure she includes Charity's very nicest dress! Louise is an interesting contrast to Charity in many ways. Whilst Charity has a penchant for alpha men, Louise gives the impression of being rather more self-contained and happy on her own. I would have loved to see Louise get her own story!

In romance fiction in particular it’s the romantic relationship that so often gets the attention and often as well the heroine can be devoid of friends and relatives to give her support. This can work really well in a story but equally there are books where the heroines have a great support network of friends – Sarah Morgan’s books do this brilliantly – and it does add another dimension to the story.

I’ve tried to draw interesting female friendships in my own books as well since female friendships were as important to our forebears as they are now. In Whisper of Scandal, for instance, both Joanna and her best friend Lottie seem quite shallow and to have a superficial sort of relationship that mainly involves going shopping together, but actually when life gets testing for both of them, the other is there with love and support to help them through. It is Lottie who encourages Joanna to seize her chance of happiness by eloping with Alex and when Lottie is ruined it is Joanna who comes find her to offer her help.

In House of Shadows too, I wanted to give my heroine Holly a close and sustaining female friendship. In fact she has two – one with Free run her best friend Fran, whom she has known since they were at college together, and the other with her dog Bonnie who is a comforting, calming and relaxing presence throughout the book. As someone who has raised both male and female puppies I can say that there is definitely a difference between the sexes and I do have a different relationship with the girls. (This is Ethel, the current Guide Dog Puppy, in the photo.)

Whether it’s a case of opposites who complement each other or like-minded souls who share the same interests, we can all gain so much from our friendships and they also enrich the pages of the books we read. So today, on National Grilfriends Day, I wonder if there are any favourite friendships in the books you enjoy? Or is there a literary character you would like to have as a friend?

200 thoughts on “Girlfriends!”

  1. I admire Beatrice’s devotion to her cousin Hero in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. Cousins aren’t necessarily the best of friends, but Beatrice would do anything to support Hero.
    I’d clearly befriend Beatrice, Viola (from Twelfth Night), and… Let me think… Yes, Jane Champion from The Rosary. And Julia from Susanna Kearsley’s Mariana. There may be more, but I keep thinking of male friends, too. :p

    Reply
  2. I admire Beatrice’s devotion to her cousin Hero in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. Cousins aren’t necessarily the best of friends, but Beatrice would do anything to support Hero.
    I’d clearly befriend Beatrice, Viola (from Twelfth Night), and… Let me think… Yes, Jane Champion from The Rosary. And Julia from Susanna Kearsley’s Mariana. There may be more, but I keep thinking of male friends, too. :p

    Reply
  3. I admire Beatrice’s devotion to her cousin Hero in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. Cousins aren’t necessarily the best of friends, but Beatrice would do anything to support Hero.
    I’d clearly befriend Beatrice, Viola (from Twelfth Night), and… Let me think… Yes, Jane Champion from The Rosary. And Julia from Susanna Kearsley’s Mariana. There may be more, but I keep thinking of male friends, too. :p

    Reply
  4. I admire Beatrice’s devotion to her cousin Hero in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. Cousins aren’t necessarily the best of friends, but Beatrice would do anything to support Hero.
    I’d clearly befriend Beatrice, Viola (from Twelfth Night), and… Let me think… Yes, Jane Champion from The Rosary. And Julia from Susanna Kearsley’s Mariana. There may be more, but I keep thinking of male friends, too. :p

    Reply
  5. I admire Beatrice’s devotion to her cousin Hero in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. Cousins aren’t necessarily the best of friends, but Beatrice would do anything to support Hero.
    I’d clearly befriend Beatrice, Viola (from Twelfth Night), and… Let me think… Yes, Jane Champion from The Rosary. And Julia from Susanna Kearsley’s Mariana. There may be more, but I keep thinking of male friends, too. :p

    Reply
  6. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Oana-Maria. Yes, Beatrice would be a wonderful friend, I think, so strong and loyal. One of my cousins is also a close friend and I value her very much and know how lucky I am to have her.
    There’s nothing wrong in male friends too, of course, (Pooh and Piglet!) but I was thinking of female friends because of the date.

    Reply
  7. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Oana-Maria. Yes, Beatrice would be a wonderful friend, I think, so strong and loyal. One of my cousins is also a close friend and I value her very much and know how lucky I am to have her.
    There’s nothing wrong in male friends too, of course, (Pooh and Piglet!) but I was thinking of female friends because of the date.

    Reply
  8. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Oana-Maria. Yes, Beatrice would be a wonderful friend, I think, so strong and loyal. One of my cousins is also a close friend and I value her very much and know how lucky I am to have her.
    There’s nothing wrong in male friends too, of course, (Pooh and Piglet!) but I was thinking of female friends because of the date.

    Reply
  9. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Oana-Maria. Yes, Beatrice would be a wonderful friend, I think, so strong and loyal. One of my cousins is also a close friend and I value her very much and know how lucky I am to have her.
    There’s nothing wrong in male friends too, of course, (Pooh and Piglet!) but I was thinking of female friends because of the date.

    Reply
  10. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Oana-Maria. Yes, Beatrice would be a wonderful friend, I think, so strong and loyal. One of my cousins is also a close friend and I value her very much and know how lucky I am to have her.
    There’s nothing wrong in male friends too, of course, (Pooh and Piglet!) but I was thinking of female friends because of the date.

    Reply
  11. There’s no such thing as a Girlfriends’ Day in my country, unfortunately, but I spend almost every Sunday with my closest friend, so I can say Sunday is ‘girlfriends’ day’ for us. 🙂

    Reply
  12. There’s no such thing as a Girlfriends’ Day in my country, unfortunately, but I spend almost every Sunday with my closest friend, so I can say Sunday is ‘girlfriends’ day’ for us. 🙂

    Reply
  13. There’s no such thing as a Girlfriends’ Day in my country, unfortunately, but I spend almost every Sunday with my closest friend, so I can say Sunday is ‘girlfriends’ day’ for us. 🙂

    Reply
  14. There’s no such thing as a Girlfriends’ Day in my country, unfortunately, but I spend almost every Sunday with my closest friend, so I can say Sunday is ‘girlfriends’ day’ for us. 🙂

    Reply
  15. There’s no such thing as a Girlfriends’ Day in my country, unfortunately, but I spend almost every Sunday with my closest friend, so I can say Sunday is ‘girlfriends’ day’ for us. 🙂

    Reply
  16. I don’t read a lot of contemporary romance, but one author that do enjoy is Emily March and her Eternity Springs series. One of the most compelling things about the series is the friendship that the women in this small town have with one another. A true sisterhood.
    The only thing that seems unrealistic is that they don’t seem to argue much, but then there is plenty of other tension provided within the stories. The main roll of the friends is to be supportive. And that is the best aspect of true friendship.

    Reply
  17. I don’t read a lot of contemporary romance, but one author that do enjoy is Emily March and her Eternity Springs series. One of the most compelling things about the series is the friendship that the women in this small town have with one another. A true sisterhood.
    The only thing that seems unrealistic is that they don’t seem to argue much, but then there is plenty of other tension provided within the stories. The main roll of the friends is to be supportive. And that is the best aspect of true friendship.

    Reply
  18. I don’t read a lot of contemporary romance, but one author that do enjoy is Emily March and her Eternity Springs series. One of the most compelling things about the series is the friendship that the women in this small town have with one another. A true sisterhood.
    The only thing that seems unrealistic is that they don’t seem to argue much, but then there is plenty of other tension provided within the stories. The main roll of the friends is to be supportive. And that is the best aspect of true friendship.

    Reply
  19. I don’t read a lot of contemporary romance, but one author that do enjoy is Emily March and her Eternity Springs series. One of the most compelling things about the series is the friendship that the women in this small town have with one another. A true sisterhood.
    The only thing that seems unrealistic is that they don’t seem to argue much, but then there is plenty of other tension provided within the stories. The main roll of the friends is to be supportive. And that is the best aspect of true friendship.

    Reply
  20. I don’t read a lot of contemporary romance, but one author that do enjoy is Emily March and her Eternity Springs series. One of the most compelling things about the series is the friendship that the women in this small town have with one another. A true sisterhood.
    The only thing that seems unrealistic is that they don’t seem to argue much, but then there is plenty of other tension provided within the stories. The main roll of the friends is to be supportive. And that is the best aspect of true friendship.

    Reply
  21. Nicola, you’re so right about the value of female friends, both in life and literature. It’s not insignificant that even though Elizabeth Bennett has four sisters, only one, Jane, is a true friend. For wonderful female friends, one need look no further than Anne Gracie’s Chance Sisters, who are such loyal friends that they become “sisters by choice” and truly save each other.

    Reply
  22. Nicola, you’re so right about the value of female friends, both in life and literature. It’s not insignificant that even though Elizabeth Bennett has four sisters, only one, Jane, is a true friend. For wonderful female friends, one need look no further than Anne Gracie’s Chance Sisters, who are such loyal friends that they become “sisters by choice” and truly save each other.

    Reply
  23. Nicola, you’re so right about the value of female friends, both in life and literature. It’s not insignificant that even though Elizabeth Bennett has four sisters, only one, Jane, is a true friend. For wonderful female friends, one need look no further than Anne Gracie’s Chance Sisters, who are such loyal friends that they become “sisters by choice” and truly save each other.

    Reply
  24. Nicola, you’re so right about the value of female friends, both in life and literature. It’s not insignificant that even though Elizabeth Bennett has four sisters, only one, Jane, is a true friend. For wonderful female friends, one need look no further than Anne Gracie’s Chance Sisters, who are such loyal friends that they become “sisters by choice” and truly save each other.

    Reply
  25. Nicola, you’re so right about the value of female friends, both in life and literature. It’s not insignificant that even though Elizabeth Bennett has four sisters, only one, Jane, is a true friend. For wonderful female friends, one need look no further than Anne Gracie’s Chance Sisters, who are such loyal friends that they become “sisters by choice” and truly save each other.

    Reply
  26. Thank you for mentioning the Eternity Springs series, Mary. It sounds as though she captures the elements of sisterhood really well, but I agree with you about friends disagreeing; that does happen sometimes and it is a measure of friendship that there is space for that too.

    Reply
  27. Thank you for mentioning the Eternity Springs series, Mary. It sounds as though she captures the elements of sisterhood really well, but I agree with you about friends disagreeing; that does happen sometimes and it is a measure of friendship that there is space for that too.

    Reply
  28. Thank you for mentioning the Eternity Springs series, Mary. It sounds as though she captures the elements of sisterhood really well, but I agree with you about friends disagreeing; that does happen sometimes and it is a measure of friendship that there is space for that too.

    Reply
  29. Thank you for mentioning the Eternity Springs series, Mary. It sounds as though she captures the elements of sisterhood really well, but I agree with you about friends disagreeing; that does happen sometimes and it is a measure of friendship that there is space for that too.

    Reply
  30. Thank you for mentioning the Eternity Springs series, Mary. It sounds as though she captures the elements of sisterhood really well, but I agree with you about friends disagreeing; that does happen sometimes and it is a measure of friendship that there is space for that too.

    Reply
  31. Yes, I think that’s very significant about Elizabeth Bennet’s sisters. Mary Jo. As someone without siblings I particularly appreciate my “sisterhood” of friends. Anne’s fabulous series is such a lovely example of that.

    Reply
  32. Yes, I think that’s very significant about Elizabeth Bennet’s sisters. Mary Jo. As someone without siblings I particularly appreciate my “sisterhood” of friends. Anne’s fabulous series is such a lovely example of that.

    Reply
  33. Yes, I think that’s very significant about Elizabeth Bennet’s sisters. Mary Jo. As someone without siblings I particularly appreciate my “sisterhood” of friends. Anne’s fabulous series is such a lovely example of that.

    Reply
  34. Yes, I think that’s very significant about Elizabeth Bennet’s sisters. Mary Jo. As someone without siblings I particularly appreciate my “sisterhood” of friends. Anne’s fabulous series is such a lovely example of that.

    Reply
  35. Yes, I think that’s very significant about Elizabeth Bennet’s sisters. Mary Jo. As someone without siblings I particularly appreciate my “sisterhood” of friends. Anne’s fabulous series is such a lovely example of that.

    Reply
  36. When I thought about this I immediately thought of the Eternity Springs women and what a strong bond they have. They have faced some pretty tough times when Nick got pregnant, when they did the intervention with Sage and other times. Each woman has faced their own problems and with the help and support of their friends come to terms with their own problems and have found love! Love of husbands and love of friends.

    Reply
  37. When I thought about this I immediately thought of the Eternity Springs women and what a strong bond they have. They have faced some pretty tough times when Nick got pregnant, when they did the intervention with Sage and other times. Each woman has faced their own problems and with the help and support of their friends come to terms with their own problems and have found love! Love of husbands and love of friends.

    Reply
  38. When I thought about this I immediately thought of the Eternity Springs women and what a strong bond they have. They have faced some pretty tough times when Nick got pregnant, when they did the intervention with Sage and other times. Each woman has faced their own problems and with the help and support of their friends come to terms with their own problems and have found love! Love of husbands and love of friends.

    Reply
  39. When I thought about this I immediately thought of the Eternity Springs women and what a strong bond they have. They have faced some pretty tough times when Nick got pregnant, when they did the intervention with Sage and other times. Each woman has faced their own problems and with the help and support of their friends come to terms with their own problems and have found love! Love of husbands and love of friends.

    Reply
  40. When I thought about this I immediately thought of the Eternity Springs women and what a strong bond they have. They have faced some pretty tough times when Nick got pregnant, when they did the intervention with Sage and other times. Each woman has faced their own problems and with the help and support of their friends come to terms with their own problems and have found love! Love of husbands and love of friends.

    Reply
  41. There are series I enjoy because they’re based on female friendships and relationships – Anne Gracie’s Chance Sisters series, for example.
    Too many romances pit women against each other and turn every female character who isn’t the heroine into a terrible (and often nasty) stereotype.

    Reply
  42. There are series I enjoy because they’re based on female friendships and relationships – Anne Gracie’s Chance Sisters series, for example.
    Too many romances pit women against each other and turn every female character who isn’t the heroine into a terrible (and often nasty) stereotype.

    Reply
  43. There are series I enjoy because they’re based on female friendships and relationships – Anne Gracie’s Chance Sisters series, for example.
    Too many romances pit women against each other and turn every female character who isn’t the heroine into a terrible (and often nasty) stereotype.

    Reply
  44. There are series I enjoy because they’re based on female friendships and relationships – Anne Gracie’s Chance Sisters series, for example.
    Too many romances pit women against each other and turn every female character who isn’t the heroine into a terrible (and often nasty) stereotype.

    Reply
  45. There are series I enjoy because they’re based on female friendships and relationships – Anne Gracie’s Chance Sisters series, for example.
    Too many romances pit women against each other and turn every female character who isn’t the heroine into a terrible (and often nasty) stereotype.

    Reply
  46. Contemporary romance these days can be very misogynistic, so it’s always nice to find a contemporary author who treats her women well.
    Toni Blake’s Destiny series is based on strong female friendships.

    Reply
  47. Contemporary romance these days can be very misogynistic, so it’s always nice to find a contemporary author who treats her women well.
    Toni Blake’s Destiny series is based on strong female friendships.

    Reply
  48. Contemporary romance these days can be very misogynistic, so it’s always nice to find a contemporary author who treats her women well.
    Toni Blake’s Destiny series is based on strong female friendships.

    Reply
  49. Contemporary romance these days can be very misogynistic, so it’s always nice to find a contemporary author who treats her women well.
    Toni Blake’s Destiny series is based on strong female friendships.

    Reply
  50. Contemporary romance these days can be very misogynistic, so it’s always nice to find a contemporary author who treats her women well.
    Toni Blake’s Destiny series is based on strong female friendships.

    Reply
  51. Yes, I think there can often be a stereotypical “bad” female character in romances. I love romantic fiction that features strong friendships but I also like characters with shades of grey, no stereotypes!

    Reply
  52. Yes, I think there can often be a stereotypical “bad” female character in romances. I love romantic fiction that features strong friendships but I also like characters with shades of grey, no stereotypes!

    Reply
  53. Yes, I think there can often be a stereotypical “bad” female character in romances. I love romantic fiction that features strong friendships but I also like characters with shades of grey, no stereotypes!

    Reply
  54. Yes, I think there can often be a stereotypical “bad” female character in romances. I love romantic fiction that features strong friendships but I also like characters with shades of grey, no stereotypes!

    Reply
  55. Yes, I think there can often be a stereotypical “bad” female character in romances. I love romantic fiction that features strong friendships but I also like characters with shades of grey, no stereotypes!

    Reply
  56. Lisa Kleypas’ Wallflower series had 2 sisters (Lillian and Daisy) and 2 friends (Annabelle and Evie). They definitely support and help each other through good times and trying times.

    Reply
  57. Lisa Kleypas’ Wallflower series had 2 sisters (Lillian and Daisy) and 2 friends (Annabelle and Evie). They definitely support and help each other through good times and trying times.

    Reply
  58. Lisa Kleypas’ Wallflower series had 2 sisters (Lillian and Daisy) and 2 friends (Annabelle and Evie). They definitely support and help each other through good times and trying times.

    Reply
  59. Lisa Kleypas’ Wallflower series had 2 sisters (Lillian and Daisy) and 2 friends (Annabelle and Evie). They definitely support and help each other through good times and trying times.

    Reply
  60. Lisa Kleypas’ Wallflower series had 2 sisters (Lillian and Daisy) and 2 friends (Annabelle and Evie). They definitely support and help each other through good times and trying times.

    Reply
  61. As a Canadian girl myself, I’m of the opinion that few fictional friendships can top the “kindred spirit-ness” of Anne Shirley and Diana Barry, from Lucy Maud Montgomery’s books. From their first meeting in Anne of Green Gables all through their respective romances and right to the end of the novels, Diana and Anne remain true friends.
    And like you, Nicola, I think Mary Stewart does amazing female friend characters. Often they do double duty as relations, as in The Moonspinners (cousin Frances) and in This Rough Magic (sister Phyllida), but the interplay between the women is always so well done and natural, and lets me know the heroine has a life and interests that extend beyond the hero.
    Thanks for reminding me of this (especially since the scene I’m currently writing is a conversation between two female friends!)

    Reply
  62. As a Canadian girl myself, I’m of the opinion that few fictional friendships can top the “kindred spirit-ness” of Anne Shirley and Diana Barry, from Lucy Maud Montgomery’s books. From their first meeting in Anne of Green Gables all through their respective romances and right to the end of the novels, Diana and Anne remain true friends.
    And like you, Nicola, I think Mary Stewart does amazing female friend characters. Often they do double duty as relations, as in The Moonspinners (cousin Frances) and in This Rough Magic (sister Phyllida), but the interplay between the women is always so well done and natural, and lets me know the heroine has a life and interests that extend beyond the hero.
    Thanks for reminding me of this (especially since the scene I’m currently writing is a conversation between two female friends!)

    Reply
  63. As a Canadian girl myself, I’m of the opinion that few fictional friendships can top the “kindred spirit-ness” of Anne Shirley and Diana Barry, from Lucy Maud Montgomery’s books. From their first meeting in Anne of Green Gables all through their respective romances and right to the end of the novels, Diana and Anne remain true friends.
    And like you, Nicola, I think Mary Stewart does amazing female friend characters. Often they do double duty as relations, as in The Moonspinners (cousin Frances) and in This Rough Magic (sister Phyllida), but the interplay between the women is always so well done and natural, and lets me know the heroine has a life and interests that extend beyond the hero.
    Thanks for reminding me of this (especially since the scene I’m currently writing is a conversation between two female friends!)

    Reply
  64. As a Canadian girl myself, I’m of the opinion that few fictional friendships can top the “kindred spirit-ness” of Anne Shirley and Diana Barry, from Lucy Maud Montgomery’s books. From their first meeting in Anne of Green Gables all through their respective romances and right to the end of the novels, Diana and Anne remain true friends.
    And like you, Nicola, I think Mary Stewart does amazing female friend characters. Often they do double duty as relations, as in The Moonspinners (cousin Frances) and in This Rough Magic (sister Phyllida), but the interplay between the women is always so well done and natural, and lets me know the heroine has a life and interests that extend beyond the hero.
    Thanks for reminding me of this (especially since the scene I’m currently writing is a conversation between two female friends!)

    Reply
  65. As a Canadian girl myself, I’m of the opinion that few fictional friendships can top the “kindred spirit-ness” of Anne Shirley and Diana Barry, from Lucy Maud Montgomery’s books. From their first meeting in Anne of Green Gables all through their respective romances and right to the end of the novels, Diana and Anne remain true friends.
    And like you, Nicola, I think Mary Stewart does amazing female friend characters. Often they do double duty as relations, as in The Moonspinners (cousin Frances) and in This Rough Magic (sister Phyllida), but the interplay between the women is always so well done and natural, and lets me know the heroine has a life and interests that extend beyond the hero.
    Thanks for reminding me of this (especially since the scene I’m currently writing is a conversation between two female friends!)

    Reply
  66. I love the special connections between girlfriends. I don’t have a sister, but those that do are fortunate to grow up with their best friend. Thank you for sharing the meaning of this beautiful day!

    Reply
  67. I love the special connections between girlfriends. I don’t have a sister, but those that do are fortunate to grow up with their best friend. Thank you for sharing the meaning of this beautiful day!

    Reply
  68. I love the special connections between girlfriends. I don’t have a sister, but those that do are fortunate to grow up with their best friend. Thank you for sharing the meaning of this beautiful day!

    Reply
  69. I love the special connections between girlfriends. I don’t have a sister, but those that do are fortunate to grow up with their best friend. Thank you for sharing the meaning of this beautiful day!

    Reply
  70. I love the special connections between girlfriends. I don’t have a sister, but those that do are fortunate to grow up with their best friend. Thank you for sharing the meaning of this beautiful day!

    Reply
  71. To begin with, my onw very best “best friend” was born this month. I have a photo of me gazing with love at my 7- or 8-day-old sister; she’s still there for me after 84 years.
    As fir fiction, I began to learn friendships starting with the Alcott girls, continuing through many books (Including the Little House series) and on to Austen, Steward, the Chance sisters, My reading net is wide, and I learn from all those sisters all the time.

    Reply
  72. To begin with, my onw very best “best friend” was born this month. I have a photo of me gazing with love at my 7- or 8-day-old sister; she’s still there for me after 84 years.
    As fir fiction, I began to learn friendships starting with the Alcott girls, continuing through many books (Including the Little House series) and on to Austen, Steward, the Chance sisters, My reading net is wide, and I learn from all those sisters all the time.

    Reply
  73. To begin with, my onw very best “best friend” was born this month. I have a photo of me gazing with love at my 7- or 8-day-old sister; she’s still there for me after 84 years.
    As fir fiction, I began to learn friendships starting with the Alcott girls, continuing through many books (Including the Little House series) and on to Austen, Steward, the Chance sisters, My reading net is wide, and I learn from all those sisters all the time.

    Reply
  74. To begin with, my onw very best “best friend” was born this month. I have a photo of me gazing with love at my 7- or 8-day-old sister; she’s still there for me after 84 years.
    As fir fiction, I began to learn friendships starting with the Alcott girls, continuing through many books (Including the Little House series) and on to Austen, Steward, the Chance sisters, My reading net is wide, and I learn from all those sisters all the time.

    Reply
  75. To begin with, my onw very best “best friend” was born this month. I have a photo of me gazing with love at my 7- or 8-day-old sister; she’s still there for me after 84 years.
    As fir fiction, I began to learn friendships starting with the Alcott girls, continuing through many books (Including the Little House series) and on to Austen, Steward, the Chance sisters, My reading net is wide, and I learn from all those sisters all the time.

    Reply
  76. I think that Montgomery wrote female friendship very well. She seemed to realize that no romance could meet every need for companionship in a woman’s life. All of Anne’s stories feature strong friendships old and new as she develops from childhood to through middle age. But I also like Emily and Else in The Emily of New Moon series.

    Reply
  77. I think that Montgomery wrote female friendship very well. She seemed to realize that no romance could meet every need for companionship in a woman’s life. All of Anne’s stories feature strong friendships old and new as she develops from childhood to through middle age. But I also like Emily and Else in The Emily of New Moon series.

    Reply
  78. I think that Montgomery wrote female friendship very well. She seemed to realize that no romance could meet every need for companionship in a woman’s life. All of Anne’s stories feature strong friendships old and new as she develops from childhood to through middle age. But I also like Emily and Else in The Emily of New Moon series.

    Reply
  79. I think that Montgomery wrote female friendship very well. She seemed to realize that no romance could meet every need for companionship in a woman’s life. All of Anne’s stories feature strong friendships old and new as she develops from childhood to through middle age. But I also like Emily and Else in The Emily of New Moon series.

    Reply
  80. I think that Montgomery wrote female friendship very well. She seemed to realize that no romance could meet every need for companionship in a woman’s life. All of Anne’s stories feature strong friendships old and new as she develops from childhood to through middle age. But I also like Emily and Else in The Emily of New Moon series.

    Reply
  81. “Do you have an umbrella about you Christopher Robin” said Pooh. Who was stuck up a tree, collecting honey for his honey pot no doubt!

    Reply
  82. “Do you have an umbrella about you Christopher Robin” said Pooh. Who was stuck up a tree, collecting honey for his honey pot no doubt!

    Reply
  83. “Do you have an umbrella about you Christopher Robin” said Pooh. Who was stuck up a tree, collecting honey for his honey pot no doubt!

    Reply
  84. “Do you have an umbrella about you Christopher Robin” said Pooh. Who was stuck up a tree, collecting honey for his honey pot no doubt!

    Reply
  85. “Do you have an umbrella about you Christopher Robin” said Pooh. Who was stuck up a tree, collecting honey for his honey pot no doubt!

    Reply
  86. I remember trying to explain very early on to an editor why I sometimes felt stifled writing category romance – and basically it boiled down to there not being room for the heroine’s girl friends! Of course, the hero didn’t get his mates in there either, but I didn’t seem to care so much about that. (The editor put me straight on how to do it, so they were there but didn’t overwhelm the romance. God bless editors.)
    I so agree about Anne Gracie’s Chance sisters. I just love the friendship, there. Multi-generational too. Always a good omen for successful marrying, I feel.

    Reply
  87. I remember trying to explain very early on to an editor why I sometimes felt stifled writing category romance – and basically it boiled down to there not being room for the heroine’s girl friends! Of course, the hero didn’t get his mates in there either, but I didn’t seem to care so much about that. (The editor put me straight on how to do it, so they were there but didn’t overwhelm the romance. God bless editors.)
    I so agree about Anne Gracie’s Chance sisters. I just love the friendship, there. Multi-generational too. Always a good omen for successful marrying, I feel.

    Reply
  88. I remember trying to explain very early on to an editor why I sometimes felt stifled writing category romance – and basically it boiled down to there not being room for the heroine’s girl friends! Of course, the hero didn’t get his mates in there either, but I didn’t seem to care so much about that. (The editor put me straight on how to do it, so they were there but didn’t overwhelm the romance. God bless editors.)
    I so agree about Anne Gracie’s Chance sisters. I just love the friendship, there. Multi-generational too. Always a good omen for successful marrying, I feel.

    Reply
  89. I remember trying to explain very early on to an editor why I sometimes felt stifled writing category romance – and basically it boiled down to there not being room for the heroine’s girl friends! Of course, the hero didn’t get his mates in there either, but I didn’t seem to care so much about that. (The editor put me straight on how to do it, so they were there but didn’t overwhelm the romance. God bless editors.)
    I so agree about Anne Gracie’s Chance sisters. I just love the friendship, there. Multi-generational too. Always a good omen for successful marrying, I feel.

    Reply
  90. I remember trying to explain very early on to an editor why I sometimes felt stifled writing category romance – and basically it boiled down to there not being room for the heroine’s girl friends! Of course, the hero didn’t get his mates in there either, but I didn’t seem to care so much about that. (The editor put me straight on how to do it, so they were there but didn’t overwhelm the romance. God bless editors.)
    I so agree about Anne Gracie’s Chance sisters. I just love the friendship, there. Multi-generational too. Always a good omen for successful marrying, I feel.

    Reply
  91. Thanks, Mary Jo and Nicola, for those kind words about my Chance “sisters.” I’d say the word wenches is another fine example of female friendships.
    Nicola, re Mary Stewart’s Madam Will You Talk, I always thought there was a strong hint Louise would pair up with—I’ve forgotten his name — the fellow who was reading in the hotel courtyard. Unfortunately my copy has walked so I can’;t look it up. Was it Marsden or something? By the end of the book she’s using his first name.

    Reply
  92. Thanks, Mary Jo and Nicola, for those kind words about my Chance “sisters.” I’d say the word wenches is another fine example of female friendships.
    Nicola, re Mary Stewart’s Madam Will You Talk, I always thought there was a strong hint Louise would pair up with—I’ve forgotten his name — the fellow who was reading in the hotel courtyard. Unfortunately my copy has walked so I can’;t look it up. Was it Marsden or something? By the end of the book she’s using his first name.

    Reply
  93. Thanks, Mary Jo and Nicola, for those kind words about my Chance “sisters.” I’d say the word wenches is another fine example of female friendships.
    Nicola, re Mary Stewart’s Madam Will You Talk, I always thought there was a strong hint Louise would pair up with—I’ve forgotten his name — the fellow who was reading in the hotel courtyard. Unfortunately my copy has walked so I can’;t look it up. Was it Marsden or something? By the end of the book she’s using his first name.

    Reply
  94. Thanks, Mary Jo and Nicola, for those kind words about my Chance “sisters.” I’d say the word wenches is another fine example of female friendships.
    Nicola, re Mary Stewart’s Madam Will You Talk, I always thought there was a strong hint Louise would pair up with—I’ve forgotten his name — the fellow who was reading in the hotel courtyard. Unfortunately my copy has walked so I can’;t look it up. Was it Marsden or something? By the end of the book she’s using his first name.

    Reply
  95. Thanks, Mary Jo and Nicola, for those kind words about my Chance “sisters.” I’d say the word wenches is another fine example of female friendships.
    Nicola, re Mary Stewart’s Madam Will You Talk, I always thought there was a strong hint Louise would pair up with—I’ve forgotten his name — the fellow who was reading in the hotel courtyard. Unfortunately my copy has walked so I can’;t look it up. Was it Marsden or something? By the end of the book she’s using his first name.

    Reply
  96. And it gave her the opportunity for that gorgeous line (which I
    ll now probably misquote): “But I have no long black dresses.”
    (When Anne asked Diana for a lock of her long black tresses)

    Reply
  97. And it gave her the opportunity for that gorgeous line (which I
    ll now probably misquote): “But I have no long black dresses.”
    (When Anne asked Diana for a lock of her long black tresses)

    Reply
  98. And it gave her the opportunity for that gorgeous line (which I
    ll now probably misquote): “But I have no long black dresses.”
    (When Anne asked Diana for a lock of her long black tresses)

    Reply
  99. And it gave her the opportunity for that gorgeous line (which I
    ll now probably misquote): “But I have no long black dresses.”
    (When Anne asked Diana for a lock of her long black tresses)

    Reply
  100. And it gave her the opportunity for that gorgeous line (which I
    ll now probably misquote): “But I have no long black dresses.”
    (When Anne asked Diana for a lock of her long black tresses)

    Reply
  101. Yes! I thought that when I was re-reading it the other day. I liked that this relationship was developing very quietly in the background and was a counterpoint to Charity and Richard. Although Louise doesn’t feature that much in the book the contrast in the characters and the way the friendship is drawn is really good IMO.

    Reply
  102. Yes! I thought that when I was re-reading it the other day. I liked that this relationship was developing very quietly in the background and was a counterpoint to Charity and Richard. Although Louise doesn’t feature that much in the book the contrast in the characters and the way the friendship is drawn is really good IMO.

    Reply
  103. Yes! I thought that when I was re-reading it the other day. I liked that this relationship was developing very quietly in the background and was a counterpoint to Charity and Richard. Although Louise doesn’t feature that much in the book the contrast in the characters and the way the friendship is drawn is really good IMO.

    Reply
  104. Yes! I thought that when I was re-reading it the other day. I liked that this relationship was developing very quietly in the background and was a counterpoint to Charity and Richard. Although Louise doesn’t feature that much in the book the contrast in the characters and the way the friendship is drawn is really good IMO.

    Reply
  105. Yes! I thought that when I was re-reading it the other day. I liked that this relationship was developing very quietly in the background and was a counterpoint to Charity and Richard. Although Louise doesn’t feature that much in the book the contrast in the characters and the way the friendship is drawn is really good IMO.

    Reply
  106. Anne of Green Gables is a wonderful example, Susanna. I also like that female relatives can also be friends since this is so true to life. It’s not a given, and so it’s special when it works. My sister-in-law and cousin-in-law are a special example of that for me. I love Phyllida’s character is This Rough Magic and again, she’s a great contrast to Lucy. As you say, these characters quietly throw light on the heroine’s wider existence.

    Reply
  107. Anne of Green Gables is a wonderful example, Susanna. I also like that female relatives can also be friends since this is so true to life. It’s not a given, and so it’s special when it works. My sister-in-law and cousin-in-law are a special example of that for me. I love Phyllida’s character is This Rough Magic and again, she’s a great contrast to Lucy. As you say, these characters quietly throw light on the heroine’s wider existence.

    Reply
  108. Anne of Green Gables is a wonderful example, Susanna. I also like that female relatives can also be friends since this is so true to life. It’s not a given, and so it’s special when it works. My sister-in-law and cousin-in-law are a special example of that for me. I love Phyllida’s character is This Rough Magic and again, she’s a great contrast to Lucy. As you say, these characters quietly throw light on the heroine’s wider existence.

    Reply
  109. Anne of Green Gables is a wonderful example, Susanna. I also like that female relatives can also be friends since this is so true to life. It’s not a given, and so it’s special when it works. My sister-in-law and cousin-in-law are a special example of that for me. I love Phyllida’s character is This Rough Magic and again, she’s a great contrast to Lucy. As you say, these characters quietly throw light on the heroine’s wider existence.

    Reply
  110. Anne of Green Gables is a wonderful example, Susanna. I also like that female relatives can also be friends since this is so true to life. It’s not a given, and so it’s special when it works. My sister-in-law and cousin-in-law are a special example of that for me. I love Phyllida’s character is This Rough Magic and again, she’s a great contrast to Lucy. As you say, these characters quietly throw light on the heroine’s wider existence.

    Reply
  111. Sue, that is lovely. I had a lump in my throat when I read about you and your sister!
    I loved the Little House series too. Friendships between siblings have always interested me because I don’t have any of my own. But I am so fortunate in my female friends.

    Reply
  112. Sue, that is lovely. I had a lump in my throat when I read about you and your sister!
    I loved the Little House series too. Friendships between siblings have always interested me because I don’t have any of my own. But I am so fortunate in my female friends.

    Reply
  113. Sue, that is lovely. I had a lump in my throat when I read about you and your sister!
    I loved the Little House series too. Friendships between siblings have always interested me because I don’t have any of my own. But I am so fortunate in my female friends.

    Reply
  114. Sue, that is lovely. I had a lump in my throat when I read about you and your sister!
    I loved the Little House series too. Friendships between siblings have always interested me because I don’t have any of my own. But I am so fortunate in my female friends.

    Reply
  115. Sue, that is lovely. I had a lump in my throat when I read about you and your sister!
    I loved the Little House series too. Friendships between siblings have always interested me because I don’t have any of my own. But I am so fortunate in my female friends.

    Reply
  116. It was one of the greatest disappointments of my life that I never had a sister. When my mother was expecting the fourth one of us I prayed so hard for a girl. When another brother was born I was told I wouldn’t even look at him for months. One of my brothers and I are very close but I would still have dearly loved a sister.

    Reply
  117. It was one of the greatest disappointments of my life that I never had a sister. When my mother was expecting the fourth one of us I prayed so hard for a girl. When another brother was born I was told I wouldn’t even look at him for months. One of my brothers and I are very close but I would still have dearly loved a sister.

    Reply
  118. It was one of the greatest disappointments of my life that I never had a sister. When my mother was expecting the fourth one of us I prayed so hard for a girl. When another brother was born I was told I wouldn’t even look at him for months. One of my brothers and I are very close but I would still have dearly loved a sister.

    Reply
  119. It was one of the greatest disappointments of my life that I never had a sister. When my mother was expecting the fourth one of us I prayed so hard for a girl. When another brother was born I was told I wouldn’t even look at him for months. One of my brothers and I are very close but I would still have dearly loved a sister.

    Reply
  120. It was one of the greatest disappointments of my life that I never had a sister. When my mother was expecting the fourth one of us I prayed so hard for a girl. When another brother was born I was told I wouldn’t even look at him for months. One of my brothers and I are very close but I would still have dearly loved a sister.

    Reply
  121. What a lovely post. I don’t have any sisters by birth, but I do have a great many sisters in writing and they all keep me going when Walmart beats the stuffing out of me. That is why RWA Nationals is the highlight of my year. To spend a week with my sisters immersed in the thing we love is inspiring and fun.
    I adore Anne Gracie’s Chance sisters. Who wouldn’t want to have sisters like those ladies? And it has been a while since I reread them, but the sisters and girlfriends in Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series are great fun to read. Especially the friendship between Eloise Bridgerton and her best friend who ends up being Lady Whistledown AND ends up married to Eloise’s brother, Collin. I think her name is Liza?

    Reply
  122. What a lovely post. I don’t have any sisters by birth, but I do have a great many sisters in writing and they all keep me going when Walmart beats the stuffing out of me. That is why RWA Nationals is the highlight of my year. To spend a week with my sisters immersed in the thing we love is inspiring and fun.
    I adore Anne Gracie’s Chance sisters. Who wouldn’t want to have sisters like those ladies? And it has been a while since I reread them, but the sisters and girlfriends in Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series are great fun to read. Especially the friendship between Eloise Bridgerton and her best friend who ends up being Lady Whistledown AND ends up married to Eloise’s brother, Collin. I think her name is Liza?

    Reply
  123. What a lovely post. I don’t have any sisters by birth, but I do have a great many sisters in writing and they all keep me going when Walmart beats the stuffing out of me. That is why RWA Nationals is the highlight of my year. To spend a week with my sisters immersed in the thing we love is inspiring and fun.
    I adore Anne Gracie’s Chance sisters. Who wouldn’t want to have sisters like those ladies? And it has been a while since I reread them, but the sisters and girlfriends in Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series are great fun to read. Especially the friendship between Eloise Bridgerton and her best friend who ends up being Lady Whistledown AND ends up married to Eloise’s brother, Collin. I think her name is Liza?

    Reply
  124. What a lovely post. I don’t have any sisters by birth, but I do have a great many sisters in writing and they all keep me going when Walmart beats the stuffing out of me. That is why RWA Nationals is the highlight of my year. To spend a week with my sisters immersed in the thing we love is inspiring and fun.
    I adore Anne Gracie’s Chance sisters. Who wouldn’t want to have sisters like those ladies? And it has been a while since I reread them, but the sisters and girlfriends in Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series are great fun to read. Especially the friendship between Eloise Bridgerton and her best friend who ends up being Lady Whistledown AND ends up married to Eloise’s brother, Collin. I think her name is Liza?

    Reply
  125. What a lovely post. I don’t have any sisters by birth, but I do have a great many sisters in writing and they all keep me going when Walmart beats the stuffing out of me. That is why RWA Nationals is the highlight of my year. To spend a week with my sisters immersed in the thing we love is inspiring and fun.
    I adore Anne Gracie’s Chance sisters. Who wouldn’t want to have sisters like those ladies? And it has been a while since I reread them, but the sisters and girlfriends in Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series are great fun to read. Especially the friendship between Eloise Bridgerton and her best friend who ends up being Lady Whistledown AND ends up married to Eloise’s brother, Collin. I think her name is Liza?

    Reply
  126. The Julia Quinn character is Penelope Featherington.
    There’s the friendship of the teachers in Mary Balogh’s Simply series– they are so supportive and loyal to each other, and have such strongly developed and different characters. I think it adds so much to the texture of a romance if a friendship group, or important siblings play a strong part. In fact, I just realized, that may be the reason I’ve been getting bored with some of the romances that I have been reading lately– they don’t have strong enough connections between the main characters and their friends or siblings.

    Reply
  127. The Julia Quinn character is Penelope Featherington.
    There’s the friendship of the teachers in Mary Balogh’s Simply series– they are so supportive and loyal to each other, and have such strongly developed and different characters. I think it adds so much to the texture of a romance if a friendship group, or important siblings play a strong part. In fact, I just realized, that may be the reason I’ve been getting bored with some of the romances that I have been reading lately– they don’t have strong enough connections between the main characters and their friends or siblings.

    Reply
  128. The Julia Quinn character is Penelope Featherington.
    There’s the friendship of the teachers in Mary Balogh’s Simply series– they are so supportive and loyal to each other, and have such strongly developed and different characters. I think it adds so much to the texture of a romance if a friendship group, or important siblings play a strong part. In fact, I just realized, that may be the reason I’ve been getting bored with some of the romances that I have been reading lately– they don’t have strong enough connections between the main characters and their friends or siblings.

    Reply
  129. The Julia Quinn character is Penelope Featherington.
    There’s the friendship of the teachers in Mary Balogh’s Simply series– they are so supportive and loyal to each other, and have such strongly developed and different characters. I think it adds so much to the texture of a romance if a friendship group, or important siblings play a strong part. In fact, I just realized, that may be the reason I’ve been getting bored with some of the romances that I have been reading lately– they don’t have strong enough connections between the main characters and their friends or siblings.

    Reply
  130. The Julia Quinn character is Penelope Featherington.
    There’s the friendship of the teachers in Mary Balogh’s Simply series– they are so supportive and loyal to each other, and have such strongly developed and different characters. I think it adds so much to the texture of a romance if a friendship group, or important siblings play a strong part. In fact, I just realized, that may be the reason I’ve been getting bored with some of the romances that I have been reading lately– they don’t have strong enough connections between the main characters and their friends or siblings.

    Reply
  131. I’m currently reading Kristen Ashley’s contemporary romance, Bounty. All of the books by this author that I’ve read feature women with strong female friendships.

    Reply
  132. I’m currently reading Kristen Ashley’s contemporary romance, Bounty. All of the books by this author that I’ve read feature women with strong female friendships.

    Reply
  133. I’m currently reading Kristen Ashley’s contemporary romance, Bounty. All of the books by this author that I’ve read feature women with strong female friendships.

    Reply
  134. I’m currently reading Kristen Ashley’s contemporary romance, Bounty. All of the books by this author that I’ve read feature women with strong female friendships.

    Reply
  135. I’m currently reading Kristen Ashley’s contemporary romance, Bounty. All of the books by this author that I’ve read feature women with strong female friendships.

    Reply

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